Sunday, October 12, 2014

Struggling past my own mind

Well, I've tried twice, but the photo is not uploading. But it is of my new mini fridge. Only the new one is bigger than my old one. And most important of all, it has a separate door for the freezer. For the first time in over two years, I can buy frozen food and actually expect to keep it frozen! My old one had a tiny freezer compartment within the fridge, but it froze parts of the refrigerator while permitting part off the freezer to thaw out. Thus, it was only good for things that didn't HAVE to stay frozen for food safety reasons.

 So that is my happy news.

On the mental health front, I have to "baby" myself. At least that is how it feels. This poor brain here does fine sometimes, but other times the tears come. Which is interesting because it has been a while since I've cried this much. And frustrating because I find myself needing help. Needing the extra hug. Needing to cry with a friend. Very annoyed at needing my friends, but also very grateful to have them.

Today was Sunday, (duh,) which for me involved going to church and Bible study. The sermon was about taking responsibility and serving at church, not as a we-need-help-in-such-and-such-ministry, but as in it will help us grow in our relationship with God. The context was graceful, not legalistic. But through my cloud of depression, I heard, "See? You are sinning by taking a break from helping on the music team." That wasn't what the pastor was saying; that was just what I was hearing.

 Then came Bible study, and more mishearing. This time with tears. Bathroom break! Thankfully my eyes seem good at hiding tears (or at least are good enough that I think they hide my tears, and my perception is most important in this case :-)... But afterwards, I was able to talk to a friend who was able to confirm my suspicion that I was mishearing. Who was able to assure me that it really was okay to take a break from helping with music.

And then I took a nap.

So I am too much in the vulnerable nitty-gritty of mental illness to advocate to the general public about mental illness this year during mental health awareness week (which technically has already ended yesterday). My mental health struggle is generally reserved for people like you who I am fairly confident won't respond with judgement (or will at least keep it to yourself :-) ). Because I'm not ready to stand against stigma right now. Hey, I'm busy fighting the stigma in my own mind. But later, when I'm better, I hope to advocate with less reserve.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Wow have I been neglecting my blog. I did see my psychiatrist. He raised the dose of one medication. Since then, I've sometimes felt better and I've other times wondered how I could be so extremely tired and yet still exist and get to work and do my job. I switched to taking the higher dose of the ssri in the evening instead of the morning, and that helped at first.

But then I took vacation time from work. Which was really special because I got to help my sister out with her new baby. But my brain out of it's schedule? Not good. So the depression and anxiety increased.

Especially when I found house fly maggots in my guinea pig cage. Eww, gross! The worst, though, was thinking that my procrastination in cleaning my guinea pig's cage had put my pet in this situation (which could - but most likely wouldn't - be life threatening to the pig). So my anxiety had a hay day (however you spell that). My counselor asked, didn't I know my anxiety was going to the extreme worst scenarios? Oh, yes, of course I knew that. Then why did I let myself go there, she wondered. Why indeed? Pretty sure it has something to do with why I have OCD in the first place! Awareness of a mental distortion is much different that stopping it. And even though I rationally knew that I was stretching the bounds of rational, my anxiety was still there. After all, (and how many times have I said this?) anxiety isn't bound by reason.

Anyway, I got through that, and so did my guinea pig, apparently without injury, to my great relief. I got through the vacation time. And I went back to work, which was super nice. And then the super tiredness came back. And the depression spike on the weekend. And so on and so forth. So now I'm not so sure if the dose increase is going to work.

And I'm struggling with justifying my need for help. This is kind of ridiculous, and I deal with it fairly often when my depression is bad but not as bad as it could be (as in, I'm safely on the outside of the hospital). Oh, this drives me nuts. Because part of me thinks I have to get worse to deserve help. And the part of me whose thinking hasn't been so distorted is like, no. Your struggle is bad enough to deserve help. And you don't want to get any worse. So we're going to enjoy every positive left and just not go there, at least not without being drug there by my brain chemicals.

And then, I think there was one more thing. Which I'm forgetting. Oh, yeah. Back to the tiredness. Long ago (as in, a couple years ago) I used to pretend I used super powers to get out of bed in the morning and such. Well, I'm not back to super powers, quite, but I'm back to telling myself, "You're strong, you can do this." See, I have this mental health toolbox with lots of good tools in it. But I have bad memories associated with some of these tools. Because some of them are not needed unless I'm struggling a lot. So if you wonder why someone who has a good toolbox isn't using it, maybe they are like me and don't want to deal with the associated memories.

Especially since I tried and partially convinced myself that since I was young, my depression would go away, at least for several years, not just several months. And being wrong, at least wrong for the time being, is extremely disappointing.

Well, back to work. Semi-super powers are charged enough to get me through the rest of the work day, I think. And then I get to see my counselor!